HGHES attracts top professors and researchers from across Canada. We bring together experts with diverse research interests from a variety of backgrounds to contribute their collective expertise. This diversity enriches student learning and provides broad perspectives on complex issues.

Dr. Tanya Chung-Tiam-Fook

Tanya Chung-Tiam-Fook is a versatile environmental and development specialist, working as a lecturer, research consultant, community educator, psychotherapist intern, and writer. As a Canadian of mixed Indigenous (Guyana), Chinese and Dutch lineages, she brings a unique ethnocultural perspective to her research and teaching. Her work focuses on: climate change vulnerability and adaptation, social-ecological resilience, tropical ecology and conservation, Indigenous environmental perspectives, local governance, political ecology, international development, eco-psychology, environmental justice, environmental education, and ethno-zoology. Tanya has a great passion for mentoring the transformative learning and leadership potential of students and youth, especially in ways that are inspired by their respective ecological, creative and community contexts..

Tanya completed a postdoctoral fellowship as part of a Canada-Caribbean partnership in community climate change adaptation, and she holds a PhD in Environmental Studies, and an MA in International Development Studies. She has many years of experience advising and coordinating research, education and local development projects with academic, nonprofit, government and community partners in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Netherlands. As a sessional university lecturer, she has been teaching for many years at York University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University and University of Prince Edward Island in Canada; and the University of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua in Central America. She has also given guest lectures, workshops and presented her research in international academic and policy settings. She is a published author and reviewer of a number of academic articles and professional reports on topics related to climate change, conservation, Indigenous environmental perspectives, international development, and environmental education.

David J.A. Douglas, M.A.

Professor Emeritus

Rural Planning and Development
University of Guelph, Canada

David has written four books, ten book chapters, many journal papers, articles and conference papers, and numerous policy and technical reports. His most recent book is Rural Planning and Development in Canada (Nelson, 2010). His most recent chapters are, “Roots, Regions and Radical Practice: Rural Communities in Societal Survival and Transformation.” Taking the Next Steps. (University of Alberta Press, 2015), and “Power and Politics in the Changing Structures of Rural Local Government”, International Handbook of Rural Studies (Routledge, forthcoming, 2016).

He was in management consulting for ten years with an international partnership, and was Director of the former University School of Rural Planning and Development (1985-92), University of Guelph. He is an active Member of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF), and was its President (2009-11). He is also engaged with the North Atlantic Forum (NAF) and the OECD-LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance. He continues to teach a graduate course at the University of Guelph, gives guest lectures in Europe, and an undergraduate course in community economic development for the Haida Gwaii Higher Educational Society.

David continues an extensive research and consulting practice in all aspects of policy, planning and practice in rural community and regional development. His international work includes projects in Japan, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Iran, all regions throughout Canada, and other countries. His more recent assignments have included his role as Rural Development Policy Adviser to the Province (Oblast) of Zakarpattia, Ukraine (2011-13).

His current research includes ‘New Regionalism’, rural local government, and development governance.

Frank I. Doyle, R.P.Bio, M.Sc.

Over the last 25 years Frank’s work has been balanced between ecological research on focal wildlife species (identification of critical habitat), and working with multi-disciplinary teams on resource development projects to identify and mitigate impacts to sensitive species and habitats. His work includes studying both the impacts of industrial landscape change, and the incremental and predicated changes brought about by climate change on our ecosystems. Specifically, this research has focused on the identification of negative impacts to focal bird populations (COSEWIC and Provincially/Territorial listed species), and the subsequent identification of measures to mitigate any impacts.

Frank has been fortunate to work on many long-term ecosystem projects across western Canada, including a long history of working with focal species of concern on Haida Gwaii, species management in the highly impacted and fragmented Mountain Pine Beetle landscape of central British Columbia, understanding the species linkages within the Boreal Forest ecosystem of southern Yukon, and the impacts of climate change on the ecosystem dynamics of our Arctic Tundra Ecosystems. This work includes partnerships with First Nations, Provincial – Territorial and Federal Agencies, Universities, Forest Harvesting Companies and other landscape management stakeholders.

Through these partnerships he has helped to guide management practices for both avian and mammal species, including the development of Best Management Practices for several species and species groupings. Frank also enjoys sharing this wealth of knowledge with communities and students, and has presented at many conferences and workshops and is helping to guide Haida Gwaii Semester students.

Dr. Sue Grayston

Canada Research Chair in Soil Microbial Ecology

Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences
Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Sue Grayston is a Professor at the University of British Columbia and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in soil microbial ecology. Sue was born in Yorkshire, England and obtained her BSc and PhD in microbiology from the University of Sheffield in the UK, was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, a research fellow with MicroBio Rhizogen Corp., an Agricultural Biotech Company, at the NRCs Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon, then was a principal scientist at the Scottish Governments Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen for 10 years prior to moving to UBC in 2003. Sue has served as an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Soil Biology & Biochemistry and the Canadian Journal of Soil Science. Sue has served as a member of NSERC Discovery Grant Selection Committee 18 (Ecology and Evolution) and as a member on grant review panels for the Science Foundation of Ireland and the Academy of Finland.

Sues’ research focuses on the application of novel molecular and stable isotope probing methods to characterize soil microbial diversity and function in forests on projects related to sustainable forest management, climate change and land reclamation. These include assessing the potential of variable retention harvesting to maintain soil function after harvest, the potential of forest fertilization to increase C sequestration in forests and effects on greenhouse gas emissions and assessing the best reclamation prescriptions for recuperation of the Athabasca oil sands after oil extraction. In 2016 she will begin research on Haida Gwaii studying the effects of ungulate removal on belowground biodiversity and nutrient cycling processes; one of her MSc students on the project being a HGHES graduate from fall 2013, Catch Catomeris. Since coming to UBC Sue has supervised 12 MSc students and 5 PhD students to completion; she currently supervises 2 MSc and 4 PhD students. Sue and her graduate students have published over 80 articles in international refereed journals. Her teaching responsibilities include courses in forest ecology and belowground ecology, soil processes and methods of soil analysis and scientific writing and argumentation.


Ngaio Hotte, B.Sc., MFRE, P.Biol

Ngaio Hotte is a Resource Economist & Facilitator with Resource Economics Group and a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation focuses on how trust can be created between First Nations and federal or provincial governments that are involved in collaborative natural resource governance and includes case studies of forest, parks and fisheries management on Haida Gwaii.

Ngaio’s work focuses on the economics of sustainable resource management including topics such as economic instruments to support adaptation to climate change in forestry and potential economic impacts of oil spills. She also facilitates workshops and discussions that involve participants from First Nations, federal and provincial governments, academia and industry working together to generate new ideas and action plans. Ngaio was the founding President of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society and has written for the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Observer.

Previously, Ngaio worked as an environmental consultant and policy analyst in the private and non-profit sectors. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science at the University of Guelph, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Engineering Applications at Conestoga College and a Master’s degree in Food and Resource Economics at the University of British Columbia and is an accredited Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB).

Dr. Jana Kotaska

Program Manager, Coastal Stewardship Network

Coastal First Nations - Great Bear Initiative

Jana’s early education and career were in terrestrial ecology and environmental planning. Her professional path took a turn when she was hired by Cowichan Tribes in 1998 as an Environmental Advisor, working throughout the territory to protect Aboriginal rights and environmental, resource, and cultural values. This was the beginning of her education in First Nations’ resource governance, Aboriginal law, and the history of colonialism. She later worked for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group as a Research Analyst and Forestry and Wildlife Consultant. She returned to academia to complete a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies, focusing on reconciliation and decolonization in the context of resource management in British Columbia.

Since 2009, Jana has worked for the Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative, an alliance of First Nations on the north and central coasts of British Columbia and Haida Gwaii. She currently manages a team that supports the development of member First Nations’ stewardship offices and programs and facilitates collaboration between local and regional stewardship efforts.

Dr. Andy MacKinnon

Adjunct Professor

School of Resource and Environmental Management
Simon Fraser University.

Andy is a recently-retired biologist who lives in Metchosin BC. He worked for the BC Forest Service from 1982-2015, involved in ecosystem classification and mapping, and a program of forest ecology research focusing on differences between old-growth and second-growth forests. Andy was also involved in developing and implementing concepts of ecosystem-Based Management of BC's Great Bear Rainforest and on Haida Gwaii. He's also interested in BC's native plants, fungi and lichens.


Dr. Dan McCarthy

Associate Professor

Associate Chair Undergraduate Studies
Department of Environment and Resource Studies
Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience

University of Waterloo, ddpmccarthy.ca

Dan is a faculty member with the Waterloo Institute of Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) as well as an Associate Professor and Associate Chair Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. His interdisciplinary academic background has focused on exploring the utility of complex systems-based approaches to understanding and intervening in linked social, ecological, epistemological systems. He has strong research interests and partnerships that relate to fostering adaptive capacity, social and environmental justice and social innovation in the field of environmental policy. Dan works closely with several First Nations groups in both northern and southern Ontario as well as conservation and environmental movement organizations in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario.

Dr. Carlos Ormond

Executive Director

Dr. Carlos Ormond is the Executive Director of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society (HGHES), and the co-instructor for HGSE 350 & 359, Case Studies in Haida Gwaii seminar courses.

For the better part of 15 years the focus of Carlos’ work has been to develop and participate in strategic initiatives to support the continuous improvement of communities and the ecological systems they are dependent on. Prior to joining the society, Carlos was the founding director of the Tropical Conservation Consortium, an organization similar to the HGHES in offering place-based education programming and supporting community-based research.

Carlos is also a published author and brings to the HGHES 10+ years teaching experience at the post-secondary level in education, community development, and environmental science programming. Four of those years were spent teaching a Simon Fraser University interdisciplinary community-based course here on Haida Gwaii. He continues to teach with Simon Fraser University as a sessional instructor in their undergraduate and graduate environmental education program, and acts as a graduate supervisor with the Royal Roads University Masters in Environmental Education and Communication program.

He currently holds a seat on the Steering Committee for the Institute for Environmental Learning – a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. Carlos lives in Skidegate with his wife Lais and soon to be first child.

Dr. Hilary Thorpe

Marine Project Manager

Gwaii Haanas - Parks Canada

Hilary is the Marine Project Manager at Gwaii Haanas, where she is leading development of the Land-Sea-People management plan in collaboration with colleagues from the Council of the Haida Nation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Prior to joining Parks Canada, Hilary held an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia and was the Academic Director of HGHES, where she developed curriculum and taught courses in the first Haida Gwaii Semesters. She has a PhD in forestry from the University of Toronto. Hilary lives in Queen Charlotte with her partner, Tyler, and their two children)

Dr. Scott Wallace

Senior Research Scientist

David Suzuki Foundation

Scott Wallace is a marine ecologist employed by the David Suzuki Foundation as a Senior Research Scientist. Scott is an educator, author, activist, naturalist and analyst whose career has focused on marine conservation. His work at the David Suzuki Foundation is centered on species at risk, healthy oceans, citizen science and sustainable fisheries. He leads the Foundation’s seafood project and is the primary science advisor for the SeaChoice program. He has taught several university and college level courses focused on the marine and coastal ecology of British Columbia. Scott sits on several government advisory boards including the Gwaii Haanas Advisory Committee. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Past Instructors

HGHES faculty often rotates and we are grateful to the many people who have contributed over the years.

Dr. Gary Bull

Dr. Gary Bull

Nick Reynolds MSFM, RPF

Nick Reynolds MSFM, RPF

Pamela Perreault MScF

Pamela Perreault MScF

Lynn Lee

Lynn Lee

Dr. Sean Markey

Dr. Sean Markey

Dr. Peggy Smith

Dr. Peggy Smith

Dr. Lindsay Galbraith

Dr. Lindsay Galbraith

Dr. Karen Golinski

Dr. Karen Golinski